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Aug 12, 2014

White House loosens restrictions on lobbyists

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is loosening restrictions on lobbyists who want to serve on federal advisory boards, a White House official said on Tuesday, a setback to the president’s efforts to tamp down special interest influence in Washington.

Obama came to office pledging to curtail the sway of lobbyists and banned lobbyists from serving on such panels, which guide government policy on a range of topics ranging from cancer to towing safety.

Aug 9, 2014

Obama says ending Iraq crisis could be ‘long-term project’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday U.S. airstrikes have destroyed arms and equipment that Islamic State insurgents could have used to attack Arbil, the Iraqi Kurdish capital, but warned Americans it could take some time to end the crisis.

“I don’t think we’re going to solve this problem in weeks. This is going to take some time,” Obama said during a brief news conference before leaving Washington for a two-week vacation in Massachusetts.

Aug 8, 2014

Ex-Im Bank reauthorization left off Republican to-do list

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank was left off a list of items that the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives expects his party to take up in September, raising new questions about the bank’s future.

The charter for the export credit agency is set to expire Sept. 30, and reauthorization is needed to allow Ex-Im to keep lending to buyers of U.S. exports.

Aug 8, 2014

Obama authorizes air strikes in Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he has authorized air strikes against Islamist militants in Iraq to protect American personnel and launched humanitarian assistance to prevent a genocide of members of a religious minority who have fled their homes.

The president, in remarks carried live over network television, said he has begun operations to assist Iraqis stranded on a mountain to escape the advancing forces of the Islamist State, which have swept across northern Iraq in recent weeks.

Aug 7, 2014

Obama says to quickly curb use of U.S. corporate tax dodge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Wednesday his administration plans to move quickly to curb what he called a “herd mentality” by companies doing business deals that help them escape U.S. corporate taxes, saying the practise was unfair to Americans.

Obama’s comments came the day that U.S. retailer Walgreen Co backed down from its plan to use a so-called inversion to reduce its taxes. Obama did not single out Walgreen, which is based in his home state of Illinois.

Aug 2, 2014

U.S. administration transferring $405 million for border operations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Department of Homeland Security notified Congress on Friday that it will transfer $405 million from other programs to deal with an immigration crisis on the southwestern border, a senior administration official said.

Congress left for a five-week recess without wrapping up an emergency spending bill to address the explosion of child migrants in the U.S. Southwest, where 57,000 children traveling alone have tried to enter the United States from Central America this year.

Aug 1, 2014

Obama calls House immigration bill extreme, vows action

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday immigration legislation on track to pass in the House of Representatives is unworkable and will force him to act on his own to address pressures from a surge of illegal immigrants on the southwestern border.

“House Republicans, as we speak, are trying to pass the most extreme and unworkable versions of a bill that they already know is going nowhere,” he told reporters at a news conference.

Aug 1, 2014

Obama says will be hard to get a new ceasefire in Gaza

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday that it will be difficult to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza after the latest truce fell apart but he strongly defended Secretary of State John Kerry for his failed diplomatic drive.

Obama’s comment at a White House news conference suggested the limited impact that diplomacy is having as Israel tries to dismantle Hamas tunnel networks in Gaza and the Palestinian militants fight back.

Jul 31, 2014

Boehner warns on unilateral immigration action by Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday that any unilateral steps by President Barack Obama on immigration would make matters worse and add to a “legacy of lawlessness.”

“No more unilateral action by the president,” Boehner said at a news conference.

Jul 30, 2014

White House condemns shelling of U.N. school in Gaza

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House condemned the shelling on Wednesday of a United Nations school in Gaza that local authorities estimated killed at least 15 Palestinians sheltering there.

“We are extremely concerned that thousands of internally displaced Palestinians who have been called on by the Israeli military to evacuate their homes are not safe in U.N. designated shelters in Gaza,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said.  “We also condemn those responsible for hiding weapons in United Nations facilities in Gaza.”

    • About Mark

      "Mark Felsenthal is a Reuters White House correspondent who covered Barack Obama's re-election in 2012 and the fiscal crisis that immediately followed. Since joining Reuters in 2001, he has written about monetary policy, currency wars, and the housing market meltdown."
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